The adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2016).

Affected persons
People requiring immediate assistance during an emergency, i.e. requiring basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter, sanitation and immediate medical assistance. Total affected persons is the sum of injured, homeless and affected persons (EMDAT International Disaster Database).

Average annual damage (AAD)
Each flood causes a different amount of flood damage to a flood prone area. AAD is the average damage per year that would occur in a nominated development situation from flooding over a very long period of time.

Direct tangible costs
Those incurred as a result of the hazard event and have a market value such as damage to properties, infrastructure, vehicles and crops (Bureau of Transport Economics, 2001).

Disaster risk reduction
The practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors, including initiatives to reduce exposure to hazards and the vulnerability of people and property, judiciously manage land and the environment, and improve preparedness (United Nations, 2009).

Discount rate
Applied in cost-benefit analysis to reflect that a dollar received in the future is worth less than a dollar today. Present values allow for decisions to be made in the present about initiatives that have costs and benefits in the future. In this report, a real discount rate of 7% is used in line with Australian Treasury recommendations.

Double Dividend
An investment which can provide two types of benefits. In the context of resilience, investment may reduce costs of a natural disaster, as well as improve economic growth and wellbeing through a number of co-benefits that occur even in the absence of a disaster.

Economic cost
There are varying definitions however this report defines total economic cost as including (direct and indirect) tangible and intangible costs.

Foundational data
Base layers of locational information used to assess natural disaster risk, among other purposes. This encompasses exposure data (assets at risk, population and community demographics) and, geographic data (geological, topographic and weather information).

Hazard data
Hazard-specific information on the risks of different disaster types, providing contextual data about the history of events and the risk profile for locations.

Impact data
Data on the potential and actual impacts associated with natural disasters, including information on historical costs and damage, and current and predicted future value at risk.


Intangible costs
Captures direct and indirect damages that cannot be easily priced such as death and injury, on health and wellbeing impacts and community connectedness. Intangible costs include the opportunity cost of the next best alternative use of the resource that is foregone. For instance, if time is spent in hospital due to injury caused by a natural disaster, the opportunity cost could include lost wages.

Measures taken before a disaster aimed at decreasing or eliminating its impact on society and the environment (COAG, 2011). For climate change, mitigation refers to actions to address the causes, usually involving actions to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere. This is not the definition of mitigation used in this report.

Natural disasters
Naturally occurring rapid onset events that cause a serious disruption to a community or region (Productivity Commission, 2014). In this report, natural disasters include bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods, severe thunderstorms or storm surges and hail. While outside the scope of the analysis, heatwaves are also considered as for many states they are a key consideration in disaster risk reduction planning.

A set of actions, knowledge and skills used to reduce the impacts of disasters (Australian Red Cross, 2015).

To hinder, deter or mitigate disasters, while maintaining readiness to deal with them (Prosser and Peters, 2010).

The coordinated process of supporting disaster-affected communities to rebuild physical infrastructure and restore emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing (Emergency Management Australia, 2015).

The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, adjust to and recover from their effects in a timely and efficient manner, including initiatives to preserve and restore essential structures and functions (United Nations, 2009). This paper focuses on resilience that deals with ‘resisting’ or actions taken before a disaster to reduce its impact.

To respond rapidly and decisively to a disaster and manage its immediate consequences (Prosser and Peters, 2010).

Social capital
Social networks together with shared norms, values and understandings that facilitate cooperation within or among groups (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, 2007).

Social impact
The effect of natural disasters impact people's health and wellbeing of individuals and families, and/or the effect on the social fabric of affected communities.